DIY Rain Chains
So what is a rain chain anyway? Rain chains were first used in commercial buildings and modern houses to get rid of the need for downpipes connected to roof gutters. Instead of the rain water being channelled down a sometimes ugly-looking downpipe, the rain runs off the roof

DIY Rain Chains

SO WHAT IS A RAIN CHAIN ANYWAY?

So what is a rain chain anyway? Rain chains were first used in commercial buildings and modern houses to get rid of the need for downpipes connected to roof gutters. Instead of the rain water being channelled down a sometimes ugly-looking downpipe, the rain runs off the roof into a gutter and then runs down a chain to the ground where it flows onto the ground into a storm water drain or into the ground, garden bed, pond or water feature. We landscapers love the fact that something drab and boring like a downpipe can become a beautiful garden feature!

The DIY movement got a hold of the idea and took rain chains to a whole new level of cool and fun to make.

Rain chains are beneficial because they actually slow the flow of the water down as it has to bump and trickle down the grooves of the chain links and objects, and this then prevents soil erosion when it runs into the ground as the flow is slower. They also create a subtle amount of white noise like a water feature and help to ionise the air around them which is beneficial to us, animals and plants.

So, let’s have a look at some fun ideas to make your own rain chain for your home or garden. You can attach them to any roof you have, or replace some of your downpipes with them, or attach them to a roof that needs more run-off. Make sure you have a tape measure, step ladder, gloves, socket wrench, drill, chain and links, pliers, metal cutters to remove down pipes and to re-attach your new rain chain.

COPPER CHAINS AND VESSELS

This is a popular one, due to the beautiful oxidation that occurs when copper is exposed to the elements giving it a green patina. Use wire links or chain to create a string of little copper ‘buckets’, vessels or ornaments that the water will trickle and flow through. Make sure the bottom of each vessel has a hole in it to allow the water to flow through. Plant up the containers with small plants like succulents that don’t mind periods of low water.

ALUMINIUM

Aluminium is a bright, silvery white metal that gets a stony texture when it oxidizes and can look pretty interesting. It is very soft and light metal and quite easy to cut yourself into different shapes. Combine it with heavier chain links or objects to give the chain some weight for windy conditions.

UPCYCLED METAL OBJECTS

Get really creative and visit your local flea market to find interesting metal objects that you can use in your rain chain. Think old vintage spoons, even metal teapots, tin cups, old keys or large picture hooks.

PLASTIC

Plastic is a very versatile material for rain chains, but does have some drawbacks you need to be aware of. Sun ages plastic very quickly, and it will quickly become brittle and break if in a sunny spot. It also stretches quite easily when it becomes hot, so your chain should include some metal links to prevent this. But there are so many fun colours and plastic items you can upcycle for a rain chain such as plastic bottles which can be cut into all sorts of shapes like flowers or vessels.

GLASS

Glass is a lovely material for a rain chain as the light catches it and on a sunny day it also looks so beautiful as a garden feature. Make sure you take extra safety precautions if you are cutting it yourself. Think about old wine bottle necks, collected sea-glass wrapped in wire, upcycled wine glasses and old pieces of mirror.

NATURAL MATERIALS

Different sea-shells and pieces of driftwood, terracotta pots or old pieces of broken ceramic plates, mosaiced pieces, pebbles and rocks, can all be used with wire to create beautiful rain chains that have a more natural and organic feeling.

Have a look at Pinterest to discover some amazing inspiration if you want to create your own. It can be a fun and relatively easy weekend project, as long as you gather all your materials and tools before you start.

Happy gardening! And rememember the Cape Town Flower Show is only a few weeks away! Get your tickets now and join Cape Contours at this great event.

Source:

Bougainvilleas – So Bright & Bold

Cheer Up Your Garden With Some Bougainvillea Colour! Expert advice on growing this cheerful climbing shrub called the Boungainvillea.

Architectural Plants

Today’s blog is list of plants, shrubs and trees which can be used as architectural form plants to create an eye catching piece in your garden. By adding a couple of carefully chosen plants, trees and shrubs one can go far to increasing the appeal of your garden and adding interest and dimension. Turn dull uniform areas, into modern, jaw dropping show ‘pieces’.

Butterflies in the garden

Everyone is charmed by butterflies! They represent metamorphosis, hope through change and are symbolic of the life-cycle of all living things. Some are brilliantly patterned and coloured with kaleidoscopic markings.

Let Your Garden Shine

Who wouldn’t want to follow this path into the cool night air? So you’ve spent hours perfecting your garden; considered the most functional layout, the prettiest features, comfortable furniture, interesting plants, and your lawn is your personal victory. It’s such a pleasure to have such a beautiful and calm space to enjoy. Weekends with family and friends, perhaps by the pool, pets and children frolicking in the open air.

Attracting Garden Birds. Feeders & Beyond – Everything You Need To Know

Enjoy the beauty and heart-warming joy that garden birds bring. Learn how to attract various different birds to your garden.

Companion Planting for the Veggie Garden

It’s now a well-known fact that certain plants grow better when planted near to each other as they improve each other’s well-being and protect each other from attack by insect pests. Now this is the kind of gardening I like, letting Nature lead the way and do the work!

Child Safety in The Garden

Every year, many children are rushed to the hospital due to accidents that occur in the home and garden. Checking your garden is safe for the littlest members of your family is important and here are some tips and advice for making yours as safe as possible.

Artificial Greening – Our Growing Range of Artificial Plants

Don’t be fooled! Faux is the new cool! The new possibilities for using synthetic or ‘fake’ plants for greening up your interior and outdoor living spaces are reaching new heights, quite literally!

March is for Garden Maintenance

Essential garden maintenance tips on activities you need to perform during Autumn. A winter-ready garden guarantees a lovely Spring garden.

HELPFUL GARDENING TIPS FOR MARCH

The climate starts cooling down and in particular night temperatures go down. So this is the time of the year when you still practice summer maintenance but at the same time start planting and preparing for cooler climate gardening.

Claim your free consultation now

+27 (0) 21 788 1202

tenders@contoursgroup.co.za

Unit 2 Lakeside Place Capricorn Business Park, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7945

Let’s plan your project together!

We plan, install and maintain award-winning landscapes for our commercial clients and project partners who wish to add function, value and inspiration to their outdoor spaces and properties.

Our roots are in Cape Town but our footprint stretches deep into southern Africa.